Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Quick + Healthy: Pineapple Teriyaki Stirfry

Every week I try to meal plan for at least three dinners, depending on our schedule. It's really important to me that we eat healthy, clean meals. I want Corey and I to be healthy, to have a toolbox of tried and true clean meals to share with clients, and to set a good example for Madeline. She wants to eat what we want to eat. We have to lead by example.

But...I am only human and I am busy. Some times I fail to plan. Like last week when I completely forgot to enter our grocery order on Sunday and then by Monday  morning the first available pick up was early afternoon. Ugh.

I love crockpot meals for Mondays because I tutor at 5:30. That way, Corey or my mother-in-law don't have to worry about cooking dinner when they are getting Madeline ready for bed. Well, my plan for crockpot chicken taco salads went out the window with the late pickup so I decided to try a quick and easy stir fry that I made up in my head as I went along.

Have you ever tried these Aidells' chicken meatballs? They have them at our grocery store and I've gotten them in bulk at Costco then frozen them before as well. They are good and there are lots of other flavors to choose from, too.

So, to make this meal, slice up a bell pepper and onion. I also had some pre-chopped broccoli florets as well. Then, heat a little coconut oil or sesame seed oil in a large pan or wok. 

Sauté veggies with a clove of minced garlic for 1-2 minutes then add in meatballs and 1/4 cup of this soyaki sauce. 
I get a lot of questions about teriyaki and soy sauce from clients doing the 21 Day Fix. They are technically not allowed. Here is a great recipe for clean teriyaki and you can sub in pure aminos for soy sauce. Personally, I think the Trader Joe's soyaki is fairly clean and much easier than making my own so I use it in our household. Everything in moderation. 

The meatballs are already cooked so you are really just warming them through. I let them simmer until they are warmed throughout then add in some diced pineapple and cook for 2-3 minutes, just until it is warm. 

Serve over quinoa, brown rice, or with a side Asian salad.

This recipe doesn't really require measuring or any actual kitchen skills, but here is your grocery list:

  • Aidells pineapple teriyaki meatballs
  • Bell pepper
  • Onion
  • Broccoli 
  • Diced pineapple
  • 1 clove of garlic 
  • Teriyaki sauce (TJ's preferred)
  • Brown rice/quinoa/salad if desired 
What are your favorite easy but healthy meals?

Monday, February 20, 2017

Coffee + Conversation (Madeline's birthday edition)

We had just the best weekend celebrating our girl's first birthday. I wrote a little about my thoughts about the past year on Friday if you missed that. Our celebrations really started last Wednesday when Madeline's aunt and uncle arrived from San Francisco to spend some time with her before her special day. Then, on Friday (her actual birthday) we took her to the Original Pancake House in South Park and she had the best time with a special birthday breakfast. We came home and surprised her with her brand new Cozy Coupe and took her on a little neighborhood ride before her morning nap.

We had her party on Saturday and it lived up to all my Pinterest dreams. 

Lots of her friends and family were in attendance and we had a great time. It was a little overwhelming so we didn't open presents until Sunday morning but she has plenty of fun, new things to entertain her. I'll do a more thorough recap some time next week. 

This week, I'm getting back on the bandwagon with my meal planning and exercise after too many indulgences last week while our family was in town and we were celebrating. I still managed to get five workouts in last week amidst all the party prep but my clean eating was for sure not on point. 

I hope some of you are enjoying a day off from work today. The weather is perfect here in North Carolina so we are looking forward to a lunch date with a friend, a long walk with Daddy, and playing with our new toys outside. 

Friday, February 17, 2017

To Madeline on her first birthday

Happy first birthday, Madeline!

It's hard to believe that it has been a year since you, a tiny 5lb 15 oz bundle, were laid in my arms for the very first time. 

I had a pretty uneventful pregnancy so in some ways, I don't think I ever properly anticipated that moment. I'm sure you will grow up knowing how much you healed our family's broken hearts at just the right time. After a really tough year, I honestly couldn't believe something so incredible was happening until I actually laid eyes on you and heard you cry. You are our greatest blessing and meeting you for the first time was a moment that changed my life forever.

My mother-in-law, whose babies were all nine pounds or bigger, kept saying you were the tiniest baby she had ever seen but you taught us right away that you were strong, a little sassy, and a force to be reckoned with. 

I feel so fortunate to have been entrusted with the incredible responsibility to keep you safe and help you grow strong and into a good person. This has been terrifying at times. The day your dad went back to work after you were born might have been one of the scariest days of my life, with five long days of just the two of us stretching out in front of me.

I like to think we've figured it out pretty well, though, and enjoy our days together. When I think back to this day one year ago, I can see how much we've both grown and learned. 

You learned to smile, coo, laugh, roll, sit up, babble, crawl, stand, squeal and scream, feed yourself say "dada" and "mama", clap, wave, and walk with a little help. We went to play dates and joined play groups, went to Story Time at the library and played on the swings at the park. We made new friends and joined baby music class and you soaked in the world around you.

But, sweet girl, I almost think you have taught me more than I have taught you this year. 

I learned to nurse and how to do something challenging for someone you love. I learned everything about baby sleep (and the lack there of). I learned about baby food making and baby proofing. I learned about fostering social and physical development and trying to take it day by day. I learned a new level of patience. I learned to re-prioritize what is really important. I learned to say no and slow down. I learned sacrifice. I learned unconditional love. 

Thank you for surprising us by entering the world ten days early on this day last year. You have been bringing the most beautiful surprises with you ever since, like when you laughed for the first time while I was changing your diaper two days before my maternity leave ended. Like you just knew I'd been so worried I would miss it! Or by rolling over when I stepped out of the room during tummy time and waiting for me on your back when I returned! Or saying "mama" for the very first time on my birthday!

I hope you grow up knowing you are so very loved by so many people, especially me and Daddy. I can't wait to see all you do in life, precious girl! Happy first birthday!